Skin care sales in Eastern Europe have shown unspectacular results as weak economies in the region’s largest countries have hindered sales. Turnovers are picking up with shoppers becoming more affluent as well as educated. Previously unseen brands and concepts have emerged and been warmly received by shoppers but skin care remains dominated by ubiquitous mass brands relying on brand image and discounts. Expanding economies are expected to be behind future market gains.
Skin care sales remain small in Eastern Europe, in the global context, with neither the size nor the speed of growth able to match those observed in Asia or North America. Still, the region retains the presence and interest of major multinationals. Omnipresent mass brands defend their leading positions in the market but fragmentation is evident as shoppers start looking for niche offerings.
The industry has become fully high-tech. Hyaluronic acid, alginate, micro encapsulated retinol, and activated charcoal are but a few concepts that consumers know about and search for. While previously the domain of multinationals, advanced technologies are now also employed by nimble domestic firms.
Asian cosmetics products are taking the world by storm and Eastern Europe is no exception. High-income shoppers splurge on exotics from Korea and Japan while the less affluent have to settle for Korean-inspired local products as they cannot afford the real thing. Domestic companies are not shy in borrowing the most catchy ingredients, such as snail mucin.
The modernisation period is not yet over for retailing in Eastern Europe, bringing along changes for everyone involved. Discounters and internet retailers, whose importance is growing, use cut-throat pricing and make other channels follow suit.
Rebounding economies in the region’s major countries are expected to underpin skin care sales over 2017-2022. None of the key players left the market during the lean years, enticed by potential future gains. They are expected to reap the rewards over the forecast period.
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